tv Washington This Week CSPAN October 7, 2012 10:30am-2:00pm EDT
they have the candidates in place so they can take advantage of any kind of a wave that materializes and that is why i don't think anybody is necessarily counting them out as far as winning the majority it looks like a long shot at this point. >> let me ask poth both of you this question. will go back to you, what to watch for in the next month. so i think you got to watch at whether democrats wind up spending money in these democratic-held seats whether they have to spend money in connecticut 5's district which is an open seat. if they have to spend money in a seat like that they don't have much hope of winning majority if they have to spend money in some of these democratic-held seats in california, for instance, the whole map was jumbled. if they have to start gening the democratic leaning territory you pretty much know it is not a democratic wave and not something goingx to return them. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
are even talking about the seats they can win. >> what to watch for. >> i think you want to look at the numbers. i think, in illinois, california, florida, these are democrats of best targets in terms of picking up seats. new york. whether the president can run up high numbers in those states, we have seen the data always
affects, a special house races. -- especially house races. >> all right. thank you both. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> come out and about 30 minutes, a connecticut u.s. senate race a debate between republican linda mcmahon, the former ceo of world wrestling entertainment and democratic u.s. congressman, chris murphy. live coverage begins at 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> here is a look at the voting process for active duty military personnel serving the u.s. and abroad. from "washington journal" it is about 30 minutes.
caller: i retired in 1991. the years. militaryve gotten the so involved, when i was there, the military could not participate in political affairs publicly and particularly its uniform but they encouraged that everybody would vote. now understand that under the new voter i.d. laws, i was told that in some cases, they are shifting id's from people who don't have an expiration date.
i retired in 1991 and i have had the same id card for 21 years. guest: sergeant major, thank you for your service. i served on active duty the same time you did. i retired in 2004 and i joined in 1984. i am revealing my age now -- there are voting assistance officers on every duty station. if you are working in the battalion headquarters or company headquarters, you might be aware of who that is. i was a logistics marine which meant i was driving a tractor trailers, served the infantry, hold all over the state of california or in open now, japan and did massive field time. i had no awareness of who the voting assistance officer was,
what my deadlines were to get registered to vote. there was no awareness or training. i think everybody and acted to the can agree that there are opportunities in the military to do mandatory training. everybody knows taxes are due on april 15. we set up tax centers on the base three months prior and we take active duty military personnel off their regular duties and they go in and assist people with their taxes. you have people assisting with federal and state taxes. we provide nothing of the sort for voting registration. the move act was supposed to get offices set up on the basis. everybody could have gone in to check in with that voting assistance officer. that has never been in place while we were on active duty. we don't want a stack of voter registration ballots sitting on a counter somewhere.
we want them to physically go in and say whether they want to register or not. this is the only way we can track it and find out if it is sure apathy which i find hard to believe. or is it just not having access? host: there is a project called a military voter protection project and they compared 2008 ballot requests and 2012 ballot requests and looking at key states, they thought there was a great difference as far bell requests. do you believe there is a significant difference? guest: this is horrific. i follow this very closely. they have chapman university doing a lot of their research and they are: voting offices. the move act is not been enforced.
we were supposed to get these problems out of the way back in 2010 election. we expected by 2012, all the kings would be worked out. there should be no states requesting waivers. the biggest problem the department -- it's a part of defense. they are not enforcing with me to be doing. they claimed how great a system they have. the have a grid system on line but for people to physically go in and look for the ballot. that is great if they are internet savvy. by the time it hits people, it is too late, probably by september or october. in the civilian world, we can walk into a department of motor vehicles office or a social services office and we can even walk into recording station -- i've heard they have offered opportunities for people to vote. when you are on active duty in the military, there is no way to go unless they have those of us is set up.
i don't mean an officer who has five other things to do. if they do collateral duty, it means they are not graded on performance of that extra duty. they need to allocate about money to get this accomplished which is a blatant dishonest statement. they have $75 million over the past three years allocated to them. $46 million a lot to get this set up in 2011 and they have managed to perfect their internet and voting? internet registration. they managed to post some of the deadlines falsely. the minister the deadline was posted erroneously. -- the minnesota it deadline was posted erroneously. they had to get that adjusted. fsap is not enforce the rules. had we done this by 2010, 2012 would be running smoothly. right now, we have no way to know if people have asked to register to vote for it most of these boating's assistance officers, there are maybe half we could find of the 229 basis.
they're not set up a reasonable location. when you check in on base, you don't go to the chapel. why would they scituate reservoir with a situates the offices next to a chapel? when you check into the military, you're given a long checklist. you have to check into medical, dental, records transferred, you have to go in and see the paperwork because you want to get paid on time. at that time, you change your life insurance policy, you make sure your family is taken care of, your will -- all the things that are like changing decisions.
voting can be tied into that. they could ask if you want to register in your home state and you can get your records transferred. they allow you the opportunity and get the paperwork and you fill it out that you are set. you don't have to worry about it or they download it for you. if that is not afforded in the hustle and bustle of life of being an active duty military person, i rarely sat still. most people would have had an aneurysm with moving nine times in 20 years. you're not thinking i need to get registered six months out. the deadline comes in your disenfranchise. active-duty military is the most disenfranchised group of voters in the united states today bar none. host: guest: you've got to deal with the secretary of state.
there are states rights in state demanded how they want to run their voting process. your military i.d. while you were on active duty, this is the way it was set up, is that the card you have gets swept which identifies you and you are able to download your balance of the know it is you. it is up to you to get it mailed out. even in the civilian world, they can be subjected to fraud. the ballots now that to your house. there are those concerns. absentee ballots had been around for some time. the voter i.d. that the military uses is there voter i.d. card. they still have to go in and download and register. you are not automatically registered three or id card. host: tampa, fla., independent line, go ahead. caller: 94 cspan. -- thank you for cspan.
there should be no question they should have the opportunity to vote. i think one of the largest claims is that the army as an all volunteer army forces. usually that means you work for free. if you are a volunteer, wouldn't you like toun-volunteer? i think they should cut the defense budget by 25% until we cut down about half of our military installations worldwide. guest: what was the last comment tax host: he said to cut the defense budget. guest: as far as volunteer goes, that is a loose term. we do volunteer to join. we're not in a draft. there is a difference with that wording. we're not volunteering our time but we have volunteered to serve.
that means we did not get cast by a draft and thank god there are people who want to do this because it is not an easy life and the dedication to serve our country is tough. if we are a volunteer to join, it would not be realistic for someone to be dedicated to the type of work i was doing to required to do that with no pay. that would be unrealistic. with a boating, they have volunteered to serve their country and willingly get sent wherever their country chooses to send them. they will do a job that the country has decided that they will do. do you think i wanted to be a tractor-trailer driver? i did it quite well because i volunteered to join. many individuals of decisions you can make on individual duty but the opportunity to vote is critical. it is not a political move. voting is your right as a u.s. citizen to participate in the voting process.
host: jacksonville, fla., on our line for military members -- caller: i just got back from afghanistan two months ago. i was in iraq in 2008. i don't think there is an issue with the ballot system. every soldier i had in my command was able to get a ballot if you want to. the issue is the fact that there is a lot of interest in the military. maybe if you would respond to that -- as someone who has a law degree, [inaudible] i don't think the military members should take any type of benefits when the constitution is violated.
host: before you leave, you talked about the lack of interest, can you expand on that deck guest: i think there is some much other stuff going on in the military -- if you are deployed, your word about your family and your personal safety. after this last to plummet, -- last deployment, there was a priority placed on replace and voting by officers. if you're in it for our location and your personal safety, family, finances -- they are all more of a concern. people are just not as interested. guest: i agree there is at the foreboding but i see that out here also -- i agree that there is that they but i see that out here also. active-duty apathy is not as significant as many would think.
those not interested in voting may know people who are not interested. people like myself for always interested. i agree that you are hustling around and you forget or you are not aware of what your boater dead -- registration deadline is. i always clued in the last month or so. i was paying attention and that's when it hit me that i get the deadline. you're not 247 thinking about voting but if you check into your next to the station and your afforded the opportunity to register, that apathy could be overcome easily. the average guy or gal wants to go but they forget to. the person who is determined to don both doesn't have to register.
i would suggest and i suggest that the bulk of active-duty military would be more than happy to register. once they get the ballot, they will probably turn around and make sure they submit it. you will not have a 1 audra% voting rate. 22% of nearly 2.6 million military boats or in the election of 2006. that is half. i find it incredibly difficult to believe that somebody on active duty is more or less interested. how could you be more apathetic than someone not serving the country? host: what to organizations do to get ballots to the military- guest: the deadlines for the ballot was last saturday, 45 days before the election. bacon called voter registration offices in their local communities. -- they can call voter registration offices in their
local communities. if you know somebody on active duty, asked them if you were afforded the opportunity to vote. send out an e-mail blast. we want the active-duty military to be encouraged to vote based on the fa that life is so chaotic that sometimes you have to be encouraged that this is your time to register. a look at the amount of e-mail traffic i get daily and often i have to address issues that are pertinent to my next promotion or getting fired and they get my answers first. call your local voter registration and ensure that issues in which the military is considered, you are elected officials that support them and encourage them to participate in the voting process. find out what concerns you have and record those concerns. there's a great website for the voter protection policy.
they have set up here.org where you can -- he rose heroes.org where you can register. they will use a generic name and you don't talk about politics much a military but you do in voting. host: guest: voting on active duty while you are stationed overseas is an absentee paper ballot. to many systems have been hacked into that have been electronic systems. i believe several years back, washington, d.c. tried to do that within the first 15 minutes, the website was hacked and manipulated. paper ballots is the only way
they can track and see that these votes were not manipulated or altered. receiving it can be electronic but sending it has to be paper. host: here is a tweed -- guest: that is simply paranoia. i down team -- i don't mean to make humor of that but a lot of people feel that way about absentee voting. i can understand concerns. i don't mean to diminish and the concerns that you have to get realistic. if you want to vote in the process, you have to participate in the system. it is the best we have now. host: stafford, virginia, republican line, go ahead caller: thank you for your 20 years of service to our country. i'm a mother of two marines, both infantry and one is currently in afghanistan right now.
i can tell you that it has been extremely difficult for him to try to get a ballot. my son has called. he is able to facebook but unfortunately, he is not able to get a ballot. he is in the thick of things. i don aware that last caller was coming from where they seemed like they were not interested. my son who is a marine is telling me that they want to vote for it they don't have the accessibility to do that. you just answered my question before. i was wondering why we cannot have ballots available on every single base. they might be in afghanistan or iraq, they should have that opportunity to go in and placed ballots for their state and have it heard. guest: thank you for having two
sons serving in the amount ignited states marine corps. that's has a lot about you as a mother. it takes a certain kind of individual to serve in the united states marine corps. it is a driven and difficult branch of the service. i wanted to clarify what the difficulty was. if they go to the fsap web site, they can get their ballots to the state but that the states are doing it with paper ballots, unfortunately, they have to get it now about 45 days in advance. if they have difficulty getting access to the internet, i understand the frustrations. lines,u're on the front you're not walking around with internet access. you don't have time to do that. i can appreciate the frustration.
there is an absentee ballot form that they can download if they never receive their military ballot. i mean there state ballot. i did not hear about this until after active duty. it is a paper ballot for absentee registration for military voters and they are able to download it and i have to go to the fsap website. bacon and fried in the candidates they want to support and get it mail back -- they can fill in the candidates they want to support and get it mailed back. the boat will be counted. i apologize that the system is still broken. we still have a lot of work to do. host: guest: that's probably why i was afraid of it. host: we're running short on time. let's get straight to more
questions. caller: good morning, i served when our marines were killed in lebanon. i served in a support unit and i knew we would support that war and it did not happen. i still feel to this day that if we had tech about the way we should have and i think we should have hit mahmoud ahmadinejad, we would not be in the mess we are today with the middle east. you do not have america. if you hit america, we will get you. i wanted to vote to after that. the only way we can make a difference it is if we get to vote. guest: and not sure what to comment on. i am glad that international affairs have motivated people to vote. there will be those who are apathetic and most often, absolutely, people out there on
the front lines are more motivated because they either want to resolve the current situation or they see something that can get a good commander in chief to make sure they are not in harm's way. host: what about an opt out voter registration in which they are automatically registered unless they don't want to? guest: they have to be able to find you. states' rights have the abilities to have laws in place for voter registration. if there is a form where you can register, i don't think that would be in compliance with state laws. that probably is not an option. host: bill from michigan, independent line. caller: i want to comment in reference to the gunnery sergeant paused suggestion that the military is exceedingly disadvantaged or the most disadvantaged class of voter.
if you are an overseas american non-military, you get absolutely no support for voting for what is a very complex and tedious process. i support the efforts to bring the writing -- the voting rights to military personal but that same level of effort should extend to other americans who are posted overseas for various reasons. guest: the difference between an oversees voter who is normally oversees is that is by their own choice. there is 2.6 million active-duty military people at any given time stationed overseas not by their own decision. their mailing address will change multiple times. most overseas voters who are non-military, their circumstances are entirely different. they are also covered by all built laws that i helped pass. the move act supports overseas
voters. all of those people got wrapped into best because of a bipartisan effort to get these laws passed. it oversees voters are not getting the ballots also, they have the same protection that active-duty military does. i disagree that they would be the most disenfranchised. a large population of the military overseas is over there in massive numbers compared to u.s. citizens who have chosen to live overseas of their own accord. host: guest: that probably would be -- you have to have polling stations and people to watch and make sure there is not
voter fraud going on. you have a federal right in ballot. there is a federal right in ballot for the military but will not cover the local elections. all acted to be stationed overseas, if you don't get your ballot, go and find a federal write-in ballot. if you're not registered to vote, it will not count. that is available but it will mark cover your local elections. host: we have one more call from fayetteville, north carolina. caller: i agree 100%. i was in the military, in the army and served eight years. i recently got back from afghanistan. there was no information for servicer reserve service members in afghanistan.
the post of his had no idea when to send the absentee voting ballots because there were not clear on how they need to gather the bags and send it back to the united states. i just get back in september and here it is october. it was all confusing for a soldier in the field to come back and ask what i should do. some of them did not know how to fill up a package to send back to the state. there was a whole lot of confusion over there. host: looking at this issue >> tomorrow, mitt romney gives a speech on foreign policy at the virginia institute. his remarks begin at 11:20 a.m. eastern on c-span.
and now, to connecticut. republican linda mcmahon and democrat chris murphy are about to face of their second debate to replace retiring senator, joe lieberman. this race is reported as a toss up. in hartford, conn. >> from channel 3 eyewitness news, a special campaign 2012 senate debate. >> a very good sunday to you. welcome to the first debate in the race for the u.s. senate seat currently held by the retiring senator, joe lieberman. first, the rules -- each candidate will have 90 seconds. can it ask the question first will have 30 seconds to rebut his or her opponent after the
answer to the question. welcome our panelists -- and now, let's bring our candidates, democrat chris murphy and republican linda mcmahon. a coin toss determined that ms. mcmahon will begin with a one minute opening statement. >> good morning, and thanks to channel 3 and our panelists and welcome to our studio audience. i am often asked why are you running for the united states senate? that angeles -- answer is simple -- some six grandchildren and future generations will be guarantee america's promise for prosperity. that promise is rapidly slipping away because our economy is on the wrong track. 170,000 people woke up in our state this morning without a job. we can get our economy back on
track if we get our people back to work. i have a plan to do that. i have been there. i've been bankrupt. i've lost everything and i have been able to come back. that's what we need a -- that's what we need to do. the plans my opponent has support in washington has only made things worse. you can look it a path for someone who has created millions of jobs or you can look at the path for someone who's going to push the economy of the fiscal cliff. >> thank you very much and thank you to channel three. i'm looking forward to this morning. i am a product of connecticut possible class. my grandfather worked in the factories of new britain, my mother is a retired schoolteacher. i was raised to believe i need to live my life in a way to stand up for the bill class families of the state that has meant so much to my family. i passed the connecticut stem cell law which is saving lives and putting people to work.
i went to congress to stand out for -- to stand up for manufacturing. it is a very different story from linda mcmahon's. she has shown over and over again that she ends up for herself and her profits at the expense the people she works for and the state. as your senator, i will stand for only one thing -- the middle class of the state. i look forward to the next hour. >> our first question is to mr. murphy. >> both of you have had personal financial problems. mr. murphy, you have been sued for nonpayment of mortgage bills. mrs. mcmahon, you have filed for bankruptcy and walked away from that. how can connecticut voters feel confident you are going to be able to exercise good judgment on federal budget decisions affecting connecticut taxpayers when at times you have mismanage your own personal finances? >> thank you for this question.
i have made mistakes in my personal finances. i made those mistakes and i fix them. the fact is everyone who has looked into these allegation has been making in these campaign as they are completely fall -- completely false. every independent financial expert. what makes a lot of these attack ads we have seen especially troubling is the fact that during the exact same time, linda mcmahon had not paid the $1 million shia her creditors. she wrote $28,000 in property taxes on her home in stanford. here is what i hear what i am talking to people in the state -- they don't want this race to be about allegations about personal finances or attack ads. they want this race to be about them. they want to know which one of us is going to fight hard for their job, which one is going to
stop the outsourcing of work from connecticut factories, they want to know how we're going to fix the schools. they won this race to be about them and that's going to be my focus over the course of the last four weeks of this race, talking about the issues that matter to the people of this state. >> i agree that we need to talk about the issues in this state. an occasional financial slip is not what we're talking about here. but you need to be honest with the people of connecticut. you need to be honest about your special interest loans and your attendance in washington. those are issues that are important to the folks of connecticut because they want to know can they trust the congressman or senator they're sending to washington to represent them and work and fight for them. i have had a career of creating jobs and contributing to the economy of connecticut.
i have a plan to do that. you have no plan. my plans for a tax cut for the middle-class and reduces taxes on businesses and rolls back overburdens in regulation and cuts spending one penny of every dollar. it focuses on education to make sure we are empowering our workforce for the jobs that are available. lastly, it develops a comprehensive energy plan so we can put people back to work while we are protecting our economy and being an energy independent. i spend time developing my plan. you have no plan. i think the people of connecticut want to know what we're going to do for them. >> mr. murphy, you have 30 seconds. >> linda mcmahon should stop spreading these stories. it's not ok to make up these stories when you're running for the senate. my work is based in the work of
debt and public service and focusing tax cuts on the middle- class, not by focusing tax cuts on the affluent and rich. my focus is on rebuilding the education system, not divesting from funding the most important services to our states. they're big differences in are planted as we should be talking about. >> is the public being well served by the quality and nature of this campaign? we are here today in a formal debate and youtube are probably going to answer around a dozen questions, but both of you have failed a basic standard of transparency and access in this campaign. press conferences are few and far between, if at all. neither one of the performs the basic task of letting us know where you are from day today so we can simply listen to what you are telling voters. this is pretty basic stuff. your campaign, serving the
voters of connecticut -- how is your campaign serving the voters of connecticut? >> i am not every single day. i have travelled out of state and visited 250 businesses and been in over 150 living rooms around the state. i like the effectiveness of the campaign or we can bring our message directly to the people of connecticut. i like the folks in connecticut to be able to look be in the eye and ask me the questions they want to ask me. i learn from them and listen to them when i am out and i think our campaign is being run very effectively by our messaging and with our interaction with the voters. it's the voters in connecticut to are going to make the choice. the voters are going to decide whether or not the person going to washington is actually going to fight for them and actually has a fan to address the most serious issue today which is facing our country, and that is jobs in the economy. congressman murphy doesn't have
a plan. yes not put a plan fourth to address these issues. you can look online and see exactly what i plan to do. they now have a track record of creating jobs and adding to the economy and they know i'm going to take that skill set to washington in a congress where we have so few business people who come from the private sector. blacks why can't the press come along and monitor this -- >> why can't the press, along and monitor this question are >> the press does come along. >> this campaign is about the people of the state of connecticut. i ran into a guy just a couple of weeks ago, and out of work painter and he wants to know the differences between linda and i between how we're going to put him back on the job. they're big differences. when the's plan is focused on
giving herself a $7 million tax cut and hoping that trickles down to people who need help. my plan is focused on investing in the people of this state and funding our schools and building roads and bridges and we recognize the strength of our nation is the people who desperately want to good work. linda does have a plan under website but as we have recently learned, a good part of that is just listed word for word, paragraph by paragraph from white -- from right-wing republican sites in washington. it is not a plan for connecticut. it essentially parrots a bunch of talking points that have not worked for this country. >> why the lack of access as far as where the two of you are day in, day out. >> i don't think there is any comparison in terms of access. linda has refused to meet with editorial boards and i've been very willing to do so. i cannot count the number of press ability -- press availability as i have done. linda mcmahon does not want this
campaign to be about issues. because of that is, she loses. whether its tax policy, support for education or women's health care, she cannot win because her economic plan is rooted in republican national talking points. my plan is rooted in the people of this state. >> i'm going to take time to respond to the very serious charge congressman murphy has leveled against me. shame on you. yet just accused me of plagiarizing my plan. it is beneath a congressman who is sitting today or anyone who is running for the united states senate. you know very well by plan is my own. i have sought the expert opinions of those outside to get the brightest and the best and every word of that plan has been cited either in the online plan or in print.
when you got into this race as the democrats at the thought -- as a democrat and you thought is going to be a coronation and now you are in a serious race with a serious woman. >> we're going to move on to the next question. >> in this tide of rising national debt, i was wondering about congressional earmarked. do you support elimination of them? here is one -- $1.9 million for a water taxi to pleasure beach in bridgeport. >> first call me respond to this last allegation. there is no doubt we'll look at her jobs plan, there are entire paragraphs and sentences lifted from the house republican website, from the cato institute. i don't know what you call it,
but all i am saying is this is not a plan rooted in what best for the state of connecticut. this is a plan written by people in washington. when that mcmahon's idea that by simply giving a bunch of tax cuts to the wealthy is going to benefit the rest of us is a really attractive idea to right- wing republicans in washington but it just doesn't work. it has never worked. let's talk about the differences and the fact that my plan continues to be regarded with best for connecticut. linda mcmahon's plan is rooted in paragraph says sentences written by other people. knottier question about fiscal responsibility -- now to your question about fiscal responsibility. we need to take a very different way of looking at how the federal government spends money. i support a moratorium on your marks because it had gotten out of control before it to
congress. but that's the beginning slice of a much bigger question about how we bring down the size of the federal government. i have called for a 1% reduction in overall discretionary spending. i have called for a balanced approach on deficit reduction requiring the wealthy to pay more and more cutting in the federal government. >> you have 90 seconds. >> again, shame on you. you thought this campaign is going to be a coronation because you're a democrat and now you are in a serious race with a serious woman and you are desperate. therefore you raise these issues. my plan sites every word that i used from the brightest in the best to but my plan together. you would be better served to be putting a plan together. you need to be honest with the people of connecticut. you need to be honest about your special interest loans. to be honest about your attendance in washington. shame on you for taking this
direction with this campaign. it is beneath you. and the people of connecticut deserve better. in my plan, i have referenced a tax cut for the middle class. my plan, if you take a look at it, absolutely keeps taxes the same across the board accept we're going to cut taxes for the middle class. my plan is the only one that has an actual middle-class tax cut. congressman murphy has voted to raise taxes on the middle class over two times already. his actions speak louder than his words. take a look at my plan -- it will cut taxes for the middle- class and we will cut taxes for businesses. however, when we cut taxes for businesses, we will eliminate ear marks and loopholes and special subsidies. >> you have 30 seconds to rebut. >> here is what the director of connecticut's's said mayor for
economic analysis of this about her plan. it is a recipe to balloon the federal deficit at a phenomenal rate. it looks like her items were picked off of a menu of politically attractive items. they were, because they were like -- or picked off a list of items with it from someone else outside the state and you should be honest about the fact that these are not original ideas. these are ideas that have been tried and failed over and over again. -- >> mr. murphy -- >> it has not worked for this economy and it will not work for the future. >> we will have closing arguments at the end of the statement. we would invite you if you could to please keep to the questions. our next question is for mrs. mcmahon. >> let's talk about ways to improve social security. should payroll taxes be raised or should more income be applied to the payroll tax rate
to improve social security? bill >> let me address again that congressman murphy has not been honest about my position on social security. let me be clear. i will support no budget that will reduce our benefits for social security or medicare. >> the question is about increasing payroll taxes to support social security in the future. >> i'm going to get to your answer. i believe we're going to have to reform social security and medicare in order that it will continue to be available for generations to come. however, i believe we have to sit in a bipartisan way in congress the issues on the table and address those things that are going to be put into place to save and preserve social security and medicare for the future. we will do that in a bipartisan way.
we will have scored and see with the financial impact of that are. we all agree it cannot sustain itself the way it is bidding, however, we also know we have to work together to make sure we can devise a plan that is going to work. >> are you interested in raising the payroll tax to support social security? >> i'm going to sit in a bipartisan commission and congress to work with all members to put the issues on the table which we need to address to prolong social security and medicare. >> mr. murphy, you have 90 seconds. >> that was one minute and 30 seconds of i'm not going to tell you what i'm going to do if you elect me. that's what this whole campaign has been about. not being straight with the people of connecticut when she looks you in the eye on what she's not going to do it comes to social security. i would look at increasing the payroll tax, the amount of
income if we need to increase the amount of money coming into social security to preserve it for future generations. but let's talk about what linda mcmahon has said. i want to put words in your mouth, so let's take the exact quote -- when your before a tea party group that didn't think anyone was listening, this what you said -- "and i do believe there are ways to look at, what we're trying to do when we put social security in place. in other words, i believe in sunset provisions when we pass this kind of legislation so you can take a look at a 10 or 15 years down the road." this was her 47% moment, when she told this state she would support the sun setting of social security only when she didn't think we were watching. that would be a disaster for the people of this state, the thousands of connecticut senior to rely on that paycheck coming
into shall security month after month. we can be looking at something, which is a nice way of saying and the social security. >> you have 30 seconds to rabat. >> there you go again not being honest. the rest of that quote, if you read that, it would confirm what i said at the beginning. i will support no budget, unlike you, who has already voted to take out $716 billion out of medicare. i will vote for no budget that will reduce the benefits are seniors are currently getting. >> these are your words. >> thank you very much. >> you have both describe yourself as pro-choice and strong supporters of women's reproductive health services. let's talk some specifics. would you oppose a supreme court candidate known to favor of overturning roe vs. wade? as far as reproductive health services, which you maintain the
nixon era planning program, title 10, which provides reproductive health care through planned parenthood and other private providers? >> i would. i would oppose supreme court justices who are going to use their position to strike down roe vs. wade and i would maintain and fight for this country's commitment to family planning. i'm here with my wife today and the issue of standing up for women's reproductive health is not just a political issue for us, it's a personal issue. my wife was the board chair for connecticut may wall and went to the legislature to fight to defeat one of the leading anti- choice legislators there. linda's history is a very different. she has said on record that she would support something called a blunt amendment which is a right-wing republican proposal that would allow any employer in this country to deny their employees, their female employes, coverage for contraceptive, not just
religious employers, religious and non-religious employers. it is unconscionable that a connecticut senator would go to washington to stand up for that kind of right wing proposal that could end of the nine contraceptive coverage to millions of women across this country and maybe even more importantly, i will make this commitment -- i will never support a leader in my party in the u.s. senate who would work to overturn roe vs. wade. if when that mcmahon is elected to the senate, no matter what the issue is, she will be empowering a senate majority leader and chairman of the judiciary committee will stop at nothing to erode women's health care. that's a big issue in this campaign. >> it is a myth to think that would be against women's health issues. i am a woman. clearly, i'm going to continue to support access to contraception, mammograms, pap smears, all of them as i did as the ceo of a company that
provided all those health benefits to its employees. i absolutely will not do anything that would impact women's health care issues. relative to a supreme court justice, i would hope there would not be a litmus test for president romney when he is supporting -- when he is so -- when he is presenting candidates for the supreme court. supreme court justices decide many issues. while i might not agree on each and everyone, i would want to bet that supreme court justice and judge the best justice for all their beliefs and all of their rulings said it would rule in accordance with the constitution. the blunt amendment overreached. it was not about contraception. it was about the of reach of government and the separation of church and state. i will always support the separation of church and state and the overreach of government. part of what's wrong in washington is our government is
too big. keeps reaching into our lives. i clearly support women's health issues but i don't support government overreach. >> here in connecticut, we have a lot on the books that says an employer has to cover basic preventive health care, which includes coverage for contraception. the blunt amendment would take direct aim at states like connecticut who have stood up for women's health care. it is frankly insulting for linda mcmahon to save you should only look at her gender, not what she stands for. she cannot run away from the fact she would vote for the blunt amendment, which would and coverage for birth control for thousands of connecticut and millions of women in this country. >> the next question is for mrs. mcmahon. >> in connecticut, we have 9.1% unemployment. gas prices are rising well above $4. home values are down.
how does this recession affected you? >> this recession has impacted so many people in connecticut. 171,000 people woke up this morning without a job. the reason i've turned my focus so strongly about creating jobs and putting people back to work in this campaign is because that's the primary issue of this campaign. anytime anyone is impacted by higher gas prices, higher food prices, just the cost of everyday living, it is squeezing our middleclass. that is why my jobs plan and my tax provision start with a reduction of taxes to the middle-class, because those are the ones we need to give a lift, to have a tax cut for our job creators so are small businesses can continue to create jobs and we can start to turn this
economy around and put people back in the state back to work. that's what will solve the issues. if we put more people back to work, they have more money in their pockets, they pay more taxes, they buy more goods and services. if they buy more goods and services, we create more goods and services. we bring down the cost of fuel and energy and gas prices. in our restaurants, they have to pay more for food than the deliveries. we have to bring down these costs and make our small businesses viable. >> limit tell you how this recession has affected me -- i have fought even harder for the people i represent. i committed my life to public service because i saw my neighbors out of work. i saw my family being denied health care. when this recession hit, i turned up the volume on fighting for connecticut manufacturers.
i founded the buy america caucus, dedicated to making sure our tax dollars stay in the united states. i stepped up the volume when it came to making sure the social safety net was there for the people of this state who were out of work, whether it's a unemployment benefits for health care for them and their kids. i fought even harder in the public arena for people who needed help. how did this recession affect linda mcmahon? in 2009, her company took $10 million in state tax credit designed to create jobs. at the same time, she laid off 10% of the workforce and made $46 million that year. she says that was the tough time and a bad recession. all she had to do to keep those 10% of workers on board was to just make $8 million less than a year and decide she could get by on $38 million that year rather than $46 million and as people could still be working.
this recession has made me work harder but this recession doesn't seem to have affected the linda mcmahon. >> you say that you have worked harder for the people of connecticut. i think need to be honest about your attendance record in washington. you did not attend the committee hearings dealing with the recession, even when you served on the powerful financial services committee. you missed 80% of those meetings. i think a recession is a time when the war -- when you need to focus and understand as much as you can about what is going on and he needed to have been at those meetings. >> we have now reached about half a point of this debate. we not a question for mr. murphy. >> this question is about the income tax rate. do you support raising the top income tax rate as proposed by president obama or reducing the top rate proposed by mitt romney? >> let me first respond to --
>> you will have time at the end. the question is about income tax rates for the highest incomes. >> i have a 97% of voting attendance rate in congress and i would be glad to talk about this issue going forward. let's talk about this issue. it is incredibly important. frankly, this is what people want to hear about it set of personal attacks. they want to hear about what we're going to do and what the differences between the two of us. my focus is on middle-class tax cuts. we should reauthorize the bush tax cuts for 98% of americans and expand them for families that need help paying for education or child care. i do not think we should extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of americans. do you know why i don't think that? we tried it. we tried massive tax cuts for the wealthy during the bush administration and it didn't
work. there is no empirical data that shows it works. this is about choices. the choice is this -- do you think $7 million is better spent in a new tax cut for linda mcmahon, or better spent giving additional cuts for child care in hartford on strike is a better off giving $7 million to linda mcmahon or is it better to use that to reduce class sizes in new britain? >> my tax plan calls for cutting taxes for the middle-class. it is the only real reduction in taxes for the middle-class. it also calls for keeping the other tax rates the same, so there is no increase or decrease in any other bracket. it is simply about the middle class because that is where we need help. we need to reduce our taxes on business, but when i look at what our tax policy needs to be, we want to make sure while we are reducing taxes, we are also
reducing spending. the reason tax cuts don't always work is if you don't decrease spending at the same time. my plan calls for a 1% reduction in spending. we're on space -- we are on pace to spend $3.8 trillion this year. we have overlapping and duplicative programs that cost over $200 billion a year. i'm not talking about cutting back services, i'm talking about cutting spending. if we were to put the tax cut emplace congressman murphy just talked about, we would have enough money to run the federal government for 26 days. that's not going to get the job done. that does not cut down on the size of government. that does not improve the lot of the 170,000 people who woke up and are still without a job. we need a comprehensive jobs plan to get our economy back on track.
i have one. congressman murphy does not. >> this is why we are in the problem we are in today. can't it's like linda mcmahon have promised the world -- we're going to have massive tax cuts and only cut spending by a little bit. arithmetic test to matter at some point, as bill clinton has said it bit convention. she would cut taxes by $4.1 trillion and cut spending by $360 billion. should cut taxes by 12 times the rate should cut spending. that's why the university of connecticut says it's a recipe for disaster on the deficit. >> your campaign has talked a great deal about middle-class tax cuts. not so much about poverty or issues of economic inequality. connecticut is a very well the state but our state capital, a recent report noted half of all children live in poverty. bridgeport, new haven, waterbury
are not that far behind. what is your campaign doing to address poverty issues? are there any party programs that are off-limits from budget cuts? -- any poverty programs off limits from budget cuts? >> i absolutely believe we have to have a safety net in place to take care of those people who can't take care of themselves. they did not opt to be in this situation. we are a benevolent nation that we want to take care of those who can't take care of themselves. however, i think the best way out of poverty is to have a job. i want to make sure we give people opportunities to have jobs and work. when they can go to work, they're paying into the economy. they're helping the economy grow. congressman murphy talks about a tax plan that doesn't make mathematical sense. he is looking at america and the
most visible way. he's not looking at an america that can grow and have economic growth because we have a growth plan in place that is going to make our economy better. those people who are suffering and you are in poverty, we need to continue to take care of them. as i drew the difference between governor romney and myself, when he talked about those in poverty, i said they haven't chosen to be there. i would not cut our food stamp programs now because we need to make sure those folks can continue to be taken care of. but let's get them a job and get them back to work so families can progress. >> again, this is just about numbers. if you except this tax cut number, the only way to account for it is to have massive cut to these programs that do put people to work and grow jobs and
take care people when they are out of work. you have to look at the work i have done. i've committed my life to standing up to the most vulnerable among us. some of the work i do on these issues may be don't get the big headlines. i wrote a piece of legislation, the support of housing investment act, named after a great advocate for anti- homeless this in connecticut that would triple the amount of housing units built for the most vulnerable among us. people have very grave mental illnesses and physical handicaps that can live on their own if they just have some supportive housing wrapped around them. i brought millions of dollars back to the state to take homeless veterans of the streets. when i was sworn into office, there were about a thousand veterans living on the streets. we tripled the number of units we paid for across the state to bring the veterans of the woods, from under the bridges in
stanford, and put them in housing again. you don't have to look of my campaign website to see if i care about the most vulnerable among us. you just have to look at the work i've done. i've dedicated my life to the people of the state and that would be a priority if i'm elected to the senate. >> you have 30 seconds to rabat. >> it is imperative we continue the social programs to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, but i want to make sure when i'm in the senate that i'm pushing for of my jobs plan to get our people back to work and grow our economy because when we grow our economy, everyone will benefit and will have a healthier and stronger nation. that's what i propose to do in washington. >> just to be clear, mr. murphy, the democrats say we don't have to cut programs like social security and medicare to tackle the national debt and
republicans in general say we don't need to raise taxes. what do you think about that question mark what programs and how would you go about cutting and would you? >> i have called for a 1% cut in discretionary spending and i have been specific about where we do that. i oppose duplicative programs in defense costing the government $3 billion. i've opposed subsidies for agribusiness in the midwest that cost -- a cost this government over $8 billion a year that we don't need. i oppose giving away tax breaks to the oil industry and gas industry to outsource. i have been able to stand up and oppose things we don't need the we need a combination of both additional revenue from those who have done very well by this economy and them some serious -- that is some serious spending
cuts. the senator we're seeking to replace, we should elect someone in the senate is going to be willing to compromise. i am. linda mcmahon is not. she is one of these candidates who signed this pledge to grover norquist and a lobbying group in washington. in her debates, she said she agreed with mayor romney that if given a chance to cut spending by $10 and increase revenue by $1 that she would not take it. we don't need to send someone to washington who is going to feed this obstructionism and draw these ridiculously hard lines and the stand -- hard line in the sand. we a compromise solution that draws from both sides of the ledger. >> as a ceo, i had to bring people to the table to get a deal done. that is how you negotiate an have compromise. he put issues on the table.
everyone debates hard for what they want. but in the end, you walk away from the table with both sides getting some of what they want but not all of what they want. congressman murphy, you and i agree on a 1 percent cut in spending except i would not cut from defense. we have already had half a trillion dollars cut out of the defense budget. sequestration, which you are going to allow, will have another half a trillion dollars, the defense budget. the defense industry is very big in connecticut with our submarine base and all the small industries that do subcontract work. it's about $3 billion for the state of connecticut. i'm not going to vote for any more cuts in defense spending because we need to have a strong defense and we need to preserve that portion of the economy here in the state of connecticut. i think there are other places
to find that 1 percent and cut. you and i agree on duplicative programs. that's something we can take without cutting services. but my plan is a growth plan. when put in place, our economy will grow an arc revenue will increase because that's the way america is. >> mr. murphy, you have 30 seconds to rabat. >> another in 90 seconds and no answers. not a single specific cut she would support and another example of fealty to supply- side, trickle-down economics that have not worked. trust me, they will eventually trickle down to everyone else. we don't need people who are going to washington without specific ideas where they would cut, without any answers to how they would achieve compromise. it's one thing to say i'm going to have everyone sit down on the table, it's another to have to be able to sit down and do it. >> if obamacare is repealed, which plan be to insure the
millions of americans who would be left without health insurance as a result? >> i am on record saying i would repeal and replace obamacare. there are parts of obamacare and i think are very good. the fact that a child today, that they can stay on their insurance until they are 26 is a good thing. i think we need to make sure we're not being penalized for pre-existing conditions. that's a very good thing in obamacare. however, i think obamacare was put into place to bring down the cost curve on health care and that is not what is happening. insurance premiums are going up, the cost of health care is going up. we're going to add about 10 million more people to our health care world and we're not going to have that doctors or medical personnel to support that. i think we need a health-care
revision. there's no question about that. but we need a health care revisions that's going to allow a marketplace to compete to bring down the cost. we need to be able to buy insurance across state lines. that means states have to get out of mandates for insurance. we need tort reforms to bring down the cost and we need accessibility for insurance. we need affordability for insurance. this current law is not going to do that. it will continue to drive up health-care costs and the cost of insurance premiums. >> you have 90 seconds. >> let me tell you why -- why i have dedicated my life to the idea that everyone should have access to decent health care. there's a woman in connecticut who has worked hard all her life and so has her husband. her husband was switching jobs and in between those two jobs, during the week he was unemployed, their son was diagnosed with cancer. when it would to get insurance
on her husband's new plan, they would not provide for because he had a pre-existing condition. one week or two weeks of a lifetime and they didn't have insurance. they lost everything. they lost their house, their savings, they became destitute simply because an illness happened at the wrong time. there is no repeal and replace plan. republicans in washington have voted to repeal is built 33 times that have never offered a replacement. bill androtect this perfected going forward. matters for small businesses -- perfect -- perfected going forward. it matters for small businesses and individuals who have been discriminated against because they've gone bankrupt, because someone in their family got ill that could not get health care simply because they did not have the money to afford it. let's fix this bill and make it right. the methodology that you could
just preserve the good parts what getting all -- getting rid of the parts you don't like cannot happen. that not what the republican party planned on doing. >> i would vote to repeal and replace because this was passed under the mark of government health care. i don't think that's the most efficient way to offer health care to our citizens. within this bill, there are 21 tax increases. congressman murphy, the referenced q would be cutting taxes for our small businesses under this plan, but it does not. raises taxes. small businesses tell me this is their single largest concern. >> the next question is for mr. murphy. >> regardless what happens with the affordable care act, the government will remain deeply involved in government health care. i want to ask about a very
sensitive part of health cost- containment. one third of u.s. health spending is to take care of americans in their last year of life. does that need to change and how this government tackle something like that without the debate quickly turning into talk about government death panels and health-care rationing? >> we need to make a commitment to be blunt public health care systems like medicare and medicaid that we are going -- public health care systems that we're going to take care of them. that's my commitment as a u.s. senator. but in order to do that, the have to have a medicare and medicaid program that works for those individuals and is not just designed to pad the bottom lines of insurance companies. this is where linda mcmahon and i differ. i believe we have to make changes to medicare to save the program. we have to make it more
efficient and cost-effective. we have to get the waste out of it. we don't need to privatize it. linda mcmahon said she would entertain paul brian's plans to privatize medicare. that she would look at it. i will not. i will fight privatization of medicare with every breath i have because, to your question -- if medicare or medicaid becomes privatized and is being run by health-care insurance companies, then the decisions that are made will be what is in their best interest. what makes their bottom line better, not what protect connecticut's seniors, not what connects those families trying to come to a very tough decision. >> should government have our role in and of life health-care and the spending that goes with that? >> the way to do this is to simply not empower health insurance bureaucrats. the way to do is to have families deep in consultation with physicians about the best course of action is either
direction and their choice at the end of life. >> congressman murphy and i agree that the choice between late term care and and care ought to be between families and physicians. unfortunately, the affordable health care act takes that away and puts panels and between the patient and doctor. that is something i do not agree with in our health-care law. that's one of the reasons i oppose it. these are times we have to look at what is best for everyone to have the best kind of health care they can have. i believe in preventive health care and let me just address one thing before -- let me digress for a second. forve never said i'm privatizing social security or our medicare plans. that's clearly not my thing. congressman murphy knows that has to be honest about that. i will support continuing reform to social security and medicare simply prolong it for
our generation. congressman murphy voted to take $716 billion of medicare to fund the affordable health care act. i don't think that is what we should do. we're there for than going to eventually did i those services to our seniors or hospitals or doctors who are going to take medicare patients. these are some of the pitfalls in the affordable health care act and these are the things i want to adjust to take care of so we do not penalize our seniors. >> president obama let me romney get away with the $700 billion law and i'm not going to let linda away with it. that money is taking out -- taken of the budget of health insurers who are being massively subsidized for medicare advantage. it is being taken out of the pockets of drug industries and drug companies who are making billions of care for seniors. if you are going to be serious
about reducing the rate of growth of medicare, which you have to beat, then you have to be willing to say we're going to end the subsidies to insurance companies and drug companies who don't need our money when seniors to. >> in north carolina, your home state, gay marriage is banned and here in connecticut, gay marriages legal. which state got it right? >> i have lived in connecticut and i absolutely support america's law for same-sex marriage. i would not pretend to try to impose my will on others. i sing everyone should have the freedom to make that choice. >> america does not have a law protecting same-sex marriage. in fact, it has the exact opposite. the united states has a law that doesn't allow people to marry based on their choice.
it discriminates against individuals based on their sexual orientation. i think the fact that linda mcmahon spent only 20 seconds answering that question tell you she's not going to stand up to her party in washington when it comes to these issues that are being dominated by the social right in washington. there is a war being waged against gays and lesbians and i'm proud to stand on one side of that war. i'm proud to stand up to end the don't ask, don't tell policy, and not produce and for the idea that anyone in this country regardless of their sexual orientation should be treated the same. that's going to the fight i continue. but the shortness of that answer suggests linda mcmahon is not going to stand up to the social right in her party which is trying to destroy the rights of gays and lesbians and also trying to destroy the white -- the rights of women in this country and take away their ability to choose for themselves what they want to do with the
body and and coverage for family planning services and reproductive health care services. i'm going to fight that social right whether it signed a rights or women's rights every day i'm in the united states senate. when the mcmahon, as a republican, is simply going to be another vote to empower it. at the critical difference. >> mr. murphy, you voted with your party 90% of the time. i am independent thinker. i will differ from my party on particular issues. >> on that one? on the issue of civil rights? >> i will absolutely differ from my party. i am pro-choice candidate, i believe in equal rights for all. i would have voted to repeal don't ask, don't tell. i don't think we should have discrimination in the military, the workplace or anywhere. >> our next question is to mr. murphy. >> knowing that voters form
their opinions based on political ads, how can you justify airing ads that in some cases have been determined by fact checkers to be misleading, confusing, and downright inaccurate? >> the ads that you see on tv for me right now are me in my kitchen talking to voters directly about the differences between me and linda mcmahon on critical issues. i support a middle-class tax cut. when the mcmahon includes a tax cut for the very wealthy. when history is standing up for the people in the state, whether it's taking homeless veterans of the street and giving them housing or fighting for the most vulnerable and the roof over their head because of a disability or mental illness. linda mcmahon has used her job a very different way, going to jobs -- going to washington to fight for lower protection for workers. those of the issues we should be
talking about. it differences between us on the issues we stand for and our respective professional history. what i don't think voters what are these personal attacks that linda mcmahon is waging against me, my wife, a my family. it's not surprising she's doing it. she tried to do it two years ago with a very serious of personal ads. people in this state what the phrase to be focused on issues. to the extent i am talking about linda mcmahon in my ads, talking about the difference between her and i and the differences that matter to connecticut families. >> you have 90 seconds. >> i think we ought to clearly be discussing the issues. that's why i have bad to talk about my six. plants. talks about tax cuts to the
middle-class and reducing taxes for businesses and rolling back overburdensome regulations. when i've been up to ring are businesses, one business in plainfield, conn. said he was dealing with overregulation, he wanted to double the size of its facilities and put in two new pieces of equipment and hire new employees. he goes to his bank and under the current regulatory environment, as bank took a look at his business plan and said here is your problem -- you are asset rich and cash poor. he said i know that, if i had the cash it would not be here for a loan. he would have to over collateralize a loan by 150% under the current regulatory environment. i want him to be able to grow his business. it's a classic example of regulation killing jobs. we need to make sure we have the proper amount of legislation but not overregulation.
my commercials talk about reducing spending, and powering our work force for training for jobs available and developing a comprehensive energy policy to put our people back to work, energy independence to protect our environment. >> 30 seconds to rebut. >> you have been running some of the most deceitful attack at the state has ever seen. don't try to pretend that has not been what's happening in that race. when your campaign was asked why you don't start talking about the issues, your campaign manager said it would be a senseless exercise. that's right. for linda mcmahon talking at the issues of be a senseless exercise. the only ads she can run are against me and my family. by pathe is different. -- my path is different. that's what in the final four weeks my campaign will be about. >> it's time now with our closing statements. we begin with mrs. mcmahon.
i want -- >> i want to thank you once again. voters in connecticut will have a clear choice in november. a clear choice between a job creator has a plan to create millions of jobs and someone has never created job and does not plan to do that. someone who will raise taxes on the middle class, has voted to do that already, and someone who is going to reduce taxes, a class. someone who desperately wants to put our folks back to work, someone who wants to give an honest representation to the people of connecticut. i think congressman murphy does need to be honest. he needs to be honest about his special interest and special interest loans. i don't have that opportunity to have special interest loans and i would not take special interest money because i cannot be bought. congressman murphy needs to come clean. i would be honored to serve as your united states senator and
ask for your vote on november 6. >> thank you to panelists and our student -- a studio audience. i may not be worth millions like linda mcmahon, but that's because i have dedicated my life to fighting for people in the state. she's going to use her wealth to spend the last few weeks engage in very personal attacks me -- personal attacks against me and my life. here's my message to the people of connecticut -- don't let her do it. make this race be about you. make about the senior citizen who can't have their next senator play games with the next paycheck. make it be about the out of work factory worker who wants a senator who will fight for in sourcing, not outsourcing. make it be about the kid in new britain who can't learn with 30 kids of her class. make this race be about you and set aside the personal tax and lies you see on tv at focus this race on which one of the two of us is going to put you back to
work at supportable class. thank you very much. >> before we say goodbye, we have a yes or no question -- incumbent senators often avoid debates. will you commit right now to debating your opponent in 2018 bashar >> sure i will. >> absolutely. >> we want to thank our candidates tonight. thank you very much for watching. three more debates in this campaign season. have a great sunday. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> tomorrow, we will have live
coverage of the u.s. senate debate in virginia between former gov.s tim kane and george allen. that's fall flat at 9:00 -- that is followed by a date for the senate race in montana between john tester and danny greenberg. that's tomorrow on c-span. president barack obama and republican presidential candidate mitt romney faced off wednesday night in the first of three presidential debates. the debate was held at the university of denver and hosted by jim lehrer and focused on domestic policy issues. this is about one hour and a half. >> lets have a terrific evening for all of you and our country.
arena. i welcome you to the first presidential debate between president barack obama and the republican nominee mitt romney. this debate and the next three are sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. about domestic issues and will follow a format designed by the commission. there will be six 15-minute segments with two-minute answers the segment. thousands of people offered suggestions on questions via the internet and other means.
i made the final selections. they were not submitted for approval to the commission or the candidates. the economy -- one each on health care, the role oftre will be an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics, and choices. closing statements. the audience has promised to remain silent. no cheers, applause, or other candidates have to say. [applause]
welcome to you both. let's start with the economy. segment one. let's begin with jobs. what are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs? you have two minutes each to start. the coin toss has determined that mr. president goes first. >> thank you very much for this opportunity. thank you, governor romney and the university of denver. 20 years ago, i became the
luckiest man on earth because michelle obama agreed to marry me. i want to wish you happy anniversary and let you know that a year from now, we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people. four years ago, we went through the worst financial crisis since the great depression. millions of jobs were lost. the auto industry was on thethe financial system froze up. because of the resilience and the determination of the american people, we have begun to fight our way back. we have seen five million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry has come back. housing has begun to rise. we have a lot of work to do. the question here is not where going. governor romney has a
perspective that says if we cut taxes, skew toward the wealthy, and roll back regulations, we will be better off. i have a different view. we have to invest in education and training. sources of oil in america, change our tax code to help small businesses and companies investing in the united states, that we take some of the money that we are saving rebuild america. it will be up to the voters what path we should take. will we double down on the top- does best? i look forward to having that debate.
>> it is in honor to be here with you. i appreciate the chance to be with the president. congratulations to you, mr. congratulations. this is a tender topic. i have met people across the country. i was in dayton, ohio, and a work since may. can you help me?" he lost his recent job." we lost our home. can you help us?" yes, we can. it will take a different path, not the one we have been on. not the one the president describes as a top-down tax cut for the rich.
my plan has five parts -- get us not american energy independent to create 4 million jobs. open up trade in latin america. crackdown on china if they cheat. make sure people have the skills to succeed in the best schools in the world. get us to a balanced budget, champion small business. it is small business that creates jobs in america. over the last four years, small-business people decided america may not be the place to open a new business because new business start-ups are down to a 30-year low. i know what it takes to hire people. i am concerned that the path we are on is unsuccessful. the president has a view very similar to what he had four years ago that a bigger government spending more, taxing more.
trickle-down government would work. america. i will restore the vitality that>> please respond directly to the trickle-down approach. >> let me talk about what i think we need to do. we have to improve our education system. we have made enormous progress and republicans. with schools. i want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so people can get trained for the jobs that are out there.
i want to make sure we keep tuition low for our young people. manufacturing. i want to close loopholes that companies shipping jobs overseas. oil and natural gas production have been higher than they have been in years. we have to look at the energy those investments. all of this is possible. we have to close our deficit. we will discuss how we deal with our tax code and how we make sure we are reducing spending in a response away and have enough revenue to make those investments.
governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the bush tax cut. $2 trillion in additional military spending -- without dumping the cost on the middle-class americans. that is one of the central questions of this campaign. >> you have spoken about a lot of different things. governor romney, do you have a said? you're talking about. we have to provide tax relief to people in the middle class.
people. economy. americans. under the president's policies, they have been buried. middle income americans have seen their income decreased by $4,300. economy tax. gasoline prices have doubled under the president, electric rates are up, food prices are programs. the president mentioned those ideas. education. it is key. it is the future of our economy. we have 47 training programs. they are reporting to eight agencies.
we have to get those dollars back to the states and to the workers so they can create pathways into training they need for jobs that will help them. we should bring the tax rates down. for corporations and individuals. for us not to lose revenue, i lowered deductions and credits and intentions so we keep taking in the same money when you account for growth. energy is critical. the president pointed out that production of oil and gas in the u.s. is up but not due to hisall of the increase in natural private land, not on government land. your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half. if i am president, i will doublei like coal.
people in the coal industry feel like it is getting crushed by your policies. i want to get america and north we can create jobs. i am not looking to cut massive taxes and reduce the revenues going into the government. adds to the deficit. deficit. i want to reduce the burden americans. i cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income americans. not accurate. >> let's talk about taxes. it is instructive. four years ago when i stood on the stage, i said that i would cut taxes for middle-class families. that is what i did.
we cut taxes for middle-class families by about $3,600. we do best when the middle class is doing well. they are in a better position to through. they can buy a computer for their kid who goes to college, which means they spend more money. calls for a $5 trillion cut. he is saying he will pay for it deductions. he has been asked how he would deductions. them.
when you add up all the loopholes and deductions that all away. you do not come close to paying for $5 trillion. that is why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet governor romney's deficit or not adding to theclass families. where people at the top are doing well while middle-class families are burdened further, that is not what i believe is a recipe for economic growth.
>> what is the difference? tax plan is inaccurate. if the tax plan he described were a tax plan i were going to support, i would say no. i will not put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. i will not reduce the share paidit is not the case. i have five boys. i am used to people saying something that is not always true, repeating it, and hoping i will believe it. that is not the case. i will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income americans. i will not raise taxes on middle-income families.
income families. there are studies that looked at it is wrong. a study said you will raise taxes by $3,000 or $4,000. i want to bring down rates, lower deductions and exemptions, and so forth so we keep getting the revenue we need. small-business pays that individual rate. 54% of america's workers work in businesses that are taxed at the individual tax rate. if we lower that rate, they willthis is about jobs.
now, he is saying that his idea is never mind. if you are lowering the rates the way you described, it is not possible to come up with enough deductions that only affect high-income individuals to avoid raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. it is math. it is arithmetic. governor romney and i do share a small-business growth. we put into place for small businesses and families. for incomes over $250,000 per year, we should go back to the rate we had when bill clinton million new jobs.
we created a lot ofby doing that we can not only only encourage job growth through small businesses, but we can make the necessary energy. we have a difference when it business. under my plan, 97% of small 3% would be burdened. definition, there are are small businesses. donald trump is a small business. he does not like to think of
himself as small anything. that is how you define small- that kind of approach will not grow our economy because the only way to pay for it without burdening the middle class or blowing up our deficit is to make drastic cuts in things like education, making sure that we are investing in basic science and research. everything that is helping america grow. that would be a mistake. >> just for the record -- we are over our first 15 minutes. we are still on the economy. we will come back to taxes. we will move on to the deficit.
97% of the businesses are notthose businesses in the last 3% employ half of the people who work in small business. they have employed one quarter of all the workers of america. you plan to take their rate from 35% to 40%. i talked to a guy with four employees. he said he and his son taxes. it added up to well over 50% of what they earned. your plan is to take the tax rate of successful small businesses from 35% to 40%. the national federation of independent businesses says that will cost 700,000 jobs. i do not want to cost jobs. my priority is jobs. i bring down the tax rates,
lower deductions and exemptions, the same ideas of bowles-simpson to create more jobs. getting us to the balancedthat is the most efficient way to get this budget balanced. another topic. if you believe we can cut taxes by $5 trillion, and add $2 trillion in additional spending, that the military is not asking years -- that is more than our entire defense budget.
loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, you will not end up picking up the tab. for you. recipe for job growth. we have tried both approaches. romney is talking about is the in 2001 and 2003. we ended up with the slowest job growth and 50 years. it culminated in the worst depression. i am talking about. businesses did well. in some ways we have some data on which approach is more likely for americans. i believe that the economy works best when middle-class families are getting tax breaks and those live in that we can afford to do
blowing up the deficit. >> he gets the first word of that segment. let me make this comment. let me repeat what i said. my plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. that is not my plan. let's look at history. my plan is not like anything that has been tried before. my plan is to bring down rates and credit so the revenue stays in but we bring down rates to get more people working.
my priority is putting peoplethey are suffering. look at the evidence of the last four years. it is extraordinary. we have 23 million people out ofwhen the president took office, 47 million were on food stamps. economic growth is slower than last year and last year's lower than the year before. going forward with the status struggling. what to do with the federal deficit. you each have two minutes. governor romney, you go first because the president went first on segment one. what are the differences between the two of you as to how you would go about tackling the deficit problem in this country?
>> it is a critical issue. it is not as an economic issue. it is a moral issue. it is not moral from my generation to keep spending more than we take in knowing those burdens will be passed on to the next generation and they will pay the interest and principal for the rest of their lives. the amount of debt we are adding is not moral. how do we deal with it? there are three ways that you can cut a deficit. one is to raise taxes. another is to cut spending. number three is to grow the economy. if more people work, they are paying taxes. the president would prefer raising taxes. the problem is that it slows down the rate of growth.
you can never quite get the job done. i want to lower spending and encourage economic growth. i will eliminate all programs by this test if they do not pass it. is the program so critical is it is worth borrowing china to pay for it? obamacare is on my list. i use the term with all respect. i will get rid of that. i will stop the subsidy to pbs. i like pbs. i like big bird. i cannot keep spending money to borrow from china to pay for it. i will take programs that are good programs but will be run more officially at the state level. i'll make government more efficient and cut back the number of employees and combine some agencies. my cutbacks will be done through attrition. the president said he would cut the deficit in half. he doubled it. trillion-dollar deficits for the last four years. the president has put in place almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined.
>> when i walked into the oval office i had more than a trillion dollar deficit greeting me. we know where it came from. two wars paid for on a credit card, two cuts that are not pay for, programs that were not paid for, a massive economic crisis. despite that, yes, we had to take some emergency measures to make sure we did not slip into a great depression. let's make sure we are cutting out things that are not helping us grow. 77 government programs from aircrafts that the air force ordered but were not working well. 18 government programs for education that were well- intentioned. they're not helping kids learn.
we went after medical fraud in medicare and medicaid very aggressively. it saved tens of billions of dollars. i worked with democrats and republicans to cut a trillion dollars out of our discretionary domestic budget, the largest cut in the discretionary domestic budget since dwight eisenhower. we have to do more. i put forward a $4 trillion reduction plan on a website. you can look at the numbers. what cuts we make and what revenue we raise. $2.50 for every cut we ask for a dollar of additional revenue, paid for by asking those of us who have done well in this country to contribute more to reduce the deficit. romney mentioned the bowles- simpson commission. that is how the bipartisan commission suggested we do it -- in a balanced way with some
revenue and some spending cuts. this is a major difference that governor romney and i had. you are looking for contrast. when governor romney stood on a stage with other republican candidates for the nomination, he was asked, "would you take $10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue?" he said no. if you take an unbalanced approach, that means you are going to be cutting our investment in schools and education. governor romney talked about medicaid and how we can send it back to the states. that means a 30% cut in the primary program we held for seniors in nursing homes, kids with disabilities. that is not a right strategy for us to move forward. >> what about simpsons bowles? >> i have my own plans.
if you want to make adjustments, make it. go to congress and fight for it. >> that is what we have done. >> you have been president for four years. he said he would cut the deficit in half. we still have trillion-dollar deficits. if you are reelected, we will get to a trillion-dollar debt. you have said you will cut the deficit in half. you find $4 trillion in cuts. we still show trillion-dollar deficits every year. that does not get the job done. why is it that i do not want to raise taxes? i do not want to raise taxes on people. in 2010, he said he would extend the tax policies we have now and not raise taxes because when the economy is going slow like this, you should not raise
taxes on anyone. the economy is still going slow. it is growing more slowly now than when he made that statement. if he believed the same thing -- the reality is it is not just wealthy people. it is not just donald trump you are taxing. it is the people that employ one-quarter of the workers that are taxed as individuals. you raise taxes and kill jobs. that is why the national federation of independent businesses said your plan will kill 7000 jobs. >> let's stay on the tax system for a moment. to reduce the deficit there has to be revenue in addition to cuts. >> governor romney has ruled out revenue. >> the revenue i get is by more
people working, getting higher pay, pay more taxes. that is how we get growth and balance the budget. the idea of taxing people more and putting people out of work -- you'll never get there. spain spends 42% of their total economy on government. we are now spending 42% of our economy on government. i want to go to the path of growth that puts americans to work with more money coming in. >> you are saying to get the job done it has to be balanced. >> if we are serious, we have to take a balanced responsible approach. it is not just when it comes to individual taxes. let's talk about corporate taxes. i have identified areas where we can make a change that would help the economy. the oil industry gets $4 billion per year in corporate welfare. they get deductions the small
businesses do not get. does anyone think exxonmobil needs extra money when they make money every time you go to the pump? why wouldn't we want to eliminate that? tax breaks for corporate jets? if you have a corporate jet, you can pay for a freight and not get a special break. when it comes to corporate taxes, governor romney has said he has wanted to in a revenue- neutral way close loopholes and deductions. that would bring down the corporate rate. i want to do the same thing. i have actually identified how we can do that. part of the way is to not give tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas. you can take a deduction for
moving a planned overseas. most americans would say, "that does not make sense." if we take a balanced approach, that allows us to help young people make sure they can afford to go to college. the teacher i met in las vegas, who describes to me how she has 42 kids and her class, the first two weeks, she has some of them sitting on the floor until they got reassigned. they're using textbooks that are 10 years old. that is not a recipe for growth. that is not how america was built, but it reflects choices. we will have to make decisions. if we are asking for no revenue, that means we have to get rid of a bunch of stuff, and the magnitude of the tax cuts you're talking about would end up and severe hardship for
people. it will not help us grow. when you talk about shifting medicaid to states, we are talking about a potential 30% cut. that may not seem like a big deal when it is numbers on a sheet of paper. if we are talking about a family with an autistic kid that depends on that medicaid, that is a big problem. governors are creative. they are not created enough to make up for 30% of revenue on something like medicaid. some people end up not getting help. >> we have gone on a lot of topics. >> come back to medicaid. >> let's go through them one by one. the department of energy has
said the tax break for all companies is $2.2 billion per year. in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. i like green energy. that is about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas. this $2.8 billion goes to smaller companies. if we get that tax rate down to 2%, that money is on the table. do not forget -- you put $90 billion into solar and wind solyndra and tesla. as my friend would say -- you know how to pick the losers. this is not the kind of policy you want to have to get american energy secure.
you said you get a deduction for taking plant overseas. i have been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you are talking about. the idea you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is not the case. i would like to take the medicaid dollars to go to state and tell them they will get what they got last year plus inflation plus 1%. you will manage to care for the poor in the way you think best. as a governor, when this idea was floated by tommy thompson, the governors said, "please, let us do that. we can care for our own poor in more effective ways than having the federal government tell us how to care for our poor." one of the magnificent things about this country is the idea
that states are the laboratories of democracy. do not let the government telling states what kind of training and medicare they have to have. if the state gets in trouble, we can step in to help them. the right approach is one that relies on the brilliance of our people and states, not the federal government. >> we are still on the economy but another part of it. this is segment 3, the economy -- entitlements. the first question goes to you, mr. president. do you see a major difference between the two of you on it? >> we have a somewhat similar position. it is socially sound. it will have to be tweaked. the basic structure is sound. i want to talk about the values behind social security and medicare. medicare is the big driver of our deficit. my grandmother helped to raise me.
my grandfather died a while back. my grandmother died three days before i was elected president. she was independent. she worked her way up. she only had a high school allocation. she ended up being the vice- president of a local bank. she ended up living along by choice. she could be independent because of social security and medicare. she worked all of her life, and understood there was basic floor under which she could not go. the name "entitlements" implies some sense of dependency on the part of these people. these are people who have worked hard. my approach is to say how do we strengthen the system of the long term?
in medicare, what we did was we said we are going to have to bring down the costs if we are going to deal with our long-term deficits. to do that, let's look at where some of the money is going. $716 billion we were able to save by no longer overpaying insurance companies and making sure we are not overpaying providers and using that money we were able to lower prescription drug costs by an average of $600. we were able to make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will save money throughout the system. the way for us to deal with medicare is to lower health-care costs. when it comes to social
security, you do not need a major structural change to make sure it is there for the future. >> we will follow up on this. you have two minutes on social security and entitlements. >> our seniors depend on these programs. any time we talk about entitlements, people become concerned. neither the president nor i are proposing any changes for any current retirees or near- retirees either to social to carry or medicare. if you are 60 or older, you do not need to listen any further. for younger people, we need to talk about what changes will occur. when i said the president is not proposing changes, he is for medicare. for medicare, for current retirees, he is cutting. everyone will get a lower rate is not just going after places where there is abuse.
that is saying we are cutting the rates. hospitals and nursing homes say they will not take any medicare patients. 50% of doctors say they will not take more medicare patients. we have 4 million people on medicare advantage that will lose medicare advantage because of those $716 billion in cuts. how can you cut medicare for some of the 16 billion career recipients? you say you'll get a better prescription program. they know that is not a good trade. i want to take that money you have cut and put it back into medicare. we can include a prescription program. the idea of cutting $716 billion from medicare to balance the additional cost of obamacare is a mistake.
with regards to young people, i have proposals to make sure medicare and social security are there for them. >> it is important for governor romney to present this plan that will only affect people in the future. it will turn medicare into a voucher program. it is called premium support. it is understood to be a voucher program. >> you do not support that? >> i do not. >> that is for future people. >> if you are 54 years old, you may want to listen. this will affect you. the idea was originally presented by congressman ryan, your running mate.
we would get a voucher to seniors. they could go out in the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance. the problem is that because the voucher would not necessarily keep up with health-care inflation, this would cost the average senior about $16,000 per year, but governor romney has said is he will maintain traditional medicare alongside it. there is still a problem. those insurance companies are clever about figuring out who are the younger and healthier seniors. they recruit them, leaving the older, sicker seniors in medicare. every health-care economist as said overtime, the traditional medicare system will collapse. you have people, like my grandmother, at the mercy of the private insurance system when they are most in need of decent health care. i do not think vouchers are the right way to go. this is not only my opinion. aarp thinks the savings we obtained from medicare bolstered the system, lengthened the medicare trust fund by
eight years. benefits were not affected. if you repeal obamacare, those seniors will pay $600 more in prescriptions. there will have to pay co-pays. the primary beneficiary of that repeal our insurance companies that are estimated to gain billions of dollars back when they are not making seniors healthier. that is not the right approach when it comes to making sure that medicare is stronger over the long term. >> we will talk about health care in a moment. do you support the voucher system, governor? >> i support no change for current retirees and near- retirees to medicare.
the president supports taking money out of that program. for people coming along that are young, i would allow them to choose the current medicare program or the private plan. it is their choice. they will have at least two plans that will be at no cost to them. they do not have to pay additional money. they will have at least two plans. if the government can be as efficient as the private sector and offer lower premiums, people will be happy to get traditional medicare or a private plan. i would rather have a private plan. i would not like the government to tell me what kind of health care i would get. people make their own choice.
to save medicare, we have to have the benefits high for those that are low income. for higher income people, we will have to lower the benefits. make sure the benefit is there for the long term. the idea came not from paul ryan, but from the co-author of the bill in the senate. it came from bill clinton's chief of staff. this says let's see if we can get competition into the medicare world so people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, better policy is a quality. i believe in competition. >> every study has shown matters here -- medicare has the word administrative cost. this is why seniors are generally happy with it. private insurers have to make a profit. that is what they do. you have higher administrative costs plus profit on top of that. if you were going to save any money to what governor romney is proposing, what has to happen is that the money has to come
from somewhere. when you move to a voucher system, you are putting seniors at the mercy of those insurance companies. over time, if traditional medicare has decayed, they are stuck. this is why aarp has said your plan would begin medicare substantially. that is why they were supportive of the approach we took. we do have to lower the cost of health care. >> we will talk about that in a minute. >> overall. >> that is a big topic. >> let's get back to medicare. if that is the case, it will always be the best part people can purchase. the private sector is typically
able to provide a better product at a lower cost. >> can you agree that voters have a choice on medicare and? >> absolutely. >> to finish on the economy, what is your view about the level of federal regulation of the economy right now? is there too much? mr. president, should there be more? this is a two-minute segment to start. >> regulation is essential. you cannot have a free market work if you do not have regulation. i need to know the regulations. you cannot have people opening of things in their garage and making loans. you have to have regulations for an economy to work. regulation can become excessive. >> is it excessive now? where? >> in some places, with some of
the legislation passed during the president's term, it has become excessive. it has hurt the economy. for example, dodd-frank designates banks too big to fail. this is an enormous boom for new york banks. there have been 122 community and small banks have close since dodd-frank. >> you want to repeal dodd- frank? >> i would repel and replace it. there are some parts that make all of the sense in the world. in a transparency, the average leverage limits. >> let's let him respond to this specific one -- dodd-frank.
>> the reason we have been in such an enormous economic crisis was prompted by a reckless behavior across the board. it was not just on wall street. you had loan officers giving loans and mortgages that should not have been given because the people did not qualify. people were borrowing money to buy houses they cannot afford. credit agencies were stamping these as a1 grade investments. you have banks making money, turning out products that the bankers and not understand. an order to make big profits, knowing that it made the system vulnerable. what did we do? we stepped in.
we have the toughest reforms on wall street since the 1930's. banks have to raise their capital requirements. do not engage in risky behavior. make sure you have a living will so we can know how you will wind things down and make a bad bet so you do not have other taxpayer bailouts. we made sure all of the help we provided the banks was paid back with interest. governor romney has said he wants to repeal dodd-frank. i appreciate it. we have agreement that a market place to work has to have regulation. he said he had wanted to repeal dodd-frank. does anyone think the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of wall street? if you do, governor romney is
your candidate. that is not what i believe. >> that is not the facts. we have to have regulation on wall street. i would not designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. that is one of the unintended consequences of dodd-frank. we need to get rid of that provision. regional and small banks are getting hurt. you say we were giving mortgages to people who were not qualified. that is one of the reasons for the great financial calamity. dodd-frank says we need to have qualified mortgages or there are big penalties. they never defined what a qualified mortgage is. it has been two years. we do not know what a qualified mortgage is. banks are reluctant to give loans. it did not anticipate putting in place the kinds of regulations you have to have.
sometimes they did not come off with clear regulation. i had to make sure that we do not hurt the functioning of our marketplace. i want to bring back housing and get good jobs. >> we have another clear difference between the two of you. let's move to health care, where there is a clear difference. that has to do with the affordable care act, or obamacare. it is a two-minute segment. two minutes each. governor romney, you want it repealed. why? >> it comes to my experience. i was in new hampshire. a woman said, "i cannot afford insurance or myself or my son." i met a couple in wisconsin who said we are thinking about dropping their insurance. small businesses are dropping
insurance because they cannot afford it. the cost is prohibitive. we have to deal with cost. when you look at obamacare, the congressional budget office has said it will cost $2,500 per year more than traditional insurance. it is adding to costs. when the present ran for office, he said by this year he would have brought down the cost of insurance per family. it has gone up. it is expensive. expensive things hurt families. it cut $716 billion from medicare to pay for it. i want to put that money back into medicare. it put in place an unelected board that will tell people what kind of treatments they will have. i do not like that. there was a survey done of small businesses done. it said, what has been the
effect of obamacare and you're hiring plans? three-quarters said it makes them less likely to hire. i do not know how the president can come into office facing 23 million out of work, rising unemployment, and economic crisis and spend his energy fighting for obamacare instead of jobs for the american people. it has killed jobs. the best course for health care is to do what we did in my state -- craft a plan at the state level that fits the needs of the states. then focus on cost down for people. rather than raising it. >> the argument against repeal. >> four years ago, i was traveling around and having the same conversations. it was not just that small businesses were having costs skyrocket, and they could not get affordable coverage or that
this was the biggest driver of our federal deficit, it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. millions of families. they had a pre-existing condition. they may not be able to get coverage. if they did have coverage, insurance companies may impose an arbitrary limit. they are paying their premiums. someone gets sick. they do not have enough money to pay the bills because the insurance companies said they have hit the limit. we did work on this alongside working on jobs. this is part of making sure that middle-class families are secure. let me tell you what obamacare did -- if you have health insurance, it does not mean a government takeover. you keep your own insurance and your doctor. insurance companies cannot
church your round. they cannot impose arbitrary lifetime limits. they have to let you keep your kid on your insurance plan until they're 26 years old. it says that he will have to get a rebate if insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and profits than they are with actual care. if you do not have health insurance, we are setting up a group plan that allows you to benefit from group rates that are 18% lower than if you are trying to get insurance on the individual markets. the last point out would make -- i had five seconds before you interrupted. >> the irony is the will have seen as a model worker.
-- we have seen this a model work. governor romney set up which is essentially identical. all of those people are covered there. as a consequence, we have the opportunity to start bringing down costs. >> governor, tell the president directly why would you think he said is wrong. >> you are right. i like the way we did it in massachusetts. in my state, we have republicans and democrats come together. we pushed -- you pushed through a plan without a single
republican vote. you pushed it through, anyway. instead of bringing america together, you pushed through something that you and nancy pelosi wanted to push through. we have a legislature that was 87% democrat. what were some differences? voted against it. we didn't raise taxes. cut medicare by $715 million. we did not put together a board that would tell people what treatments they would receive. we put people in a position where they will lose the insurance that they had and it wanted. right now, the cbo says that to 20 million people will lose insurance as obamacare goes into
effect next year. 30% of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage. for those reasons, for the tax, for medicare, for this board and for people losing their insurance, this is what the american people don't want medicare, do want obamacare pin it is why the republicans said don't do this. the republicans had a plan, a bipartisan plan could it was swept aside. i think something this big, this important has to be done in a bipartisan basis. and we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties. >> this was a bipartisan idea. in fact, this was a republican idea. he said that what we did in massachusetts could be a model for the nation. the democratic legislators in massachusetts may have given
some advice to other republicans in congress on how to cooperate. we used the same advisers and they say that it is the same plan. when governor romney talks about the board, for example, this unelected board, this is a group of health care experts, doctors, etc., to figure out how we can reduce the cost of care in the system overall. because there are two ways to dealing with their health care crisis. one is to simply leave a whole bunch of people uninsured and let them fend for themselves, to let businesses figure out how long they can continue to pay premiums before they finally give up and their workers are no longer getting insured -- and that has been the trend line. or we can figure out how we can make the cost of health care more effective. and there are ways of doing it. the cleveland clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world, they actually provide
great care, cheaper than average. the reason they do is because they do some smart things. they say that come if a patient is coming in, let's get all the doctors at once. instead of having the patient runs around to doing tend to us, let's make sure we are doing preventive care for something like diabetes. let's pay providers on the basis of performance as opposed to on the basis of how many procedures they have engaged in. so what this board does is identifies best practices and says let's use the purchasing power of medicare and medicaid to help to institutionalize all of these good things that we do. the fact of the matter is that, when obamacare is fully implemented, we will be in a position to show that costs are going down.
over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up. it is true, but slower than they have in the last 50 years. we are already beginning to see progress. in the meantime, folks up there with insurance are already getting a rebate. governor romney says we should replace it. i was reputed, but we can replace it with something. but the fact of the matter is that some of the prescriptions that he has offered, like letting you buy insurance across straight lines, there's no indication that that somehow will help someone with a pre- existing condition be able to finally buy insurance. by repealing obamacare, you have people losing insurance at a time when it is more important.
>> let's let the governor explain what you would do if obamacare is repealed. >> pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. young people are able to stay on their family plan. that is already offered in the private marketplace. you do not need the government -- government to mandate that. the key task we have in health care is to get the cost down so it is more affordable for families. he has a model for doing that, an unelected board who will decide what kind of treatment you ought to have a. in my opinion, the government is not effective in bringing down the cost of almost anything.
as a matter of fact, free people and free enterprise is try to find a way to do things together are more effective at bringing down the cost that the government ever will be. your example of the cleveland clinic is exactly my point. this is the private market. these are enterprises competing with each other and learning how to do better jobs. i used to consult to hospitals and health-care providers. i was astonished at the creativity and innovation that exists in the american people. in order to bring the cost of health care down, we do not need a board of the 15 people telling us what kind of treatments we should have. we should have insurance plans, hospitals, doctors on targets so that they have an incentive, performance pay for doing an excellent job for keeping costs down. that is happening. mayo clinic is doing it. the cleveland clinic and others. the right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across america telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have. that is the wrong way to go. the private market and
individual responsibility always works best. >> let me point out first of all this board we are talking about cannot make decisions about what treatments are given here that is explicitly prohibited in the lot. let's go back to what gov. romney indicated. under his plan, he would be able to cover people with pre- existing conditions. actually governor, that is not what your plan does. your plan duplicates what is already the law. if you are on health insurance for three months, then you can end up getting continuous coverage. insurance company cannot deny you if it has been under 90 days. that is already the law. that does not help millions of people out there with pre- existing conditions. there is a reason why governor mitt romney said of the plan he did in the massachusetts. it was the largest expansion of private insurance.
what it does say is insurers -- you have to take everybody. that also means -- when gov. romney says he will replace it with something but cannot detail how it will be replaced -- and the reason he said of the system he did in massachusetts is because there is not a better way of dealing with pre- existing conditions. it just reminds me -- he says he will close deductions and loopholes for his tax plan. we do not know the details. he says that he is going to replace dodd-frank, wall street reform, but we do not know exactly which ones. he will not tell us. he now says he will replace obamacare and insurer as all the good things and it will be in there and you do not have to worry. at some point the american people have to ask themselves, is the reason gov. romney is keeping all of these plans to
replace secret because they are too good? is it because somehow middle- class families will benefit too much from them? the reason is because when we reform wall street, when we tackle the problem of pre- existing conditions, these are tough problems and we have to make choices. the choices we have made have been ones that ultimately benefited middle class families. >> i have to respond to that. my experience as a governor is that if i come in and lay down a piece of legislation and say it is my way or the highway, i do not get a lot done. what i do is the same way that tip o'neill and ronald reagan work together years ago. he laid out the principles that he was going to foster. he said he would lower tax rates. he said he was going to broaden the base.
you said the same thing. those are my principles. i want to bring down the tax burden on middle income families. i will work together with congress to say what are the various ways we can bring down deductions. one way will be to have a single number. make up a number -- $50,000. anybody can have deductions up to that amount. that number disappears for high income people. one could follow bowles simspn as a model. there are other ways to accomplish the objective that i have it. simplify the code, broaden the base, and create incentives for growth. with regards to health care, you obviously studied up on my plan. in fact, i do have a plan that deals with people with pre- existing conditions. what we did in massachusetts is a model for the nation state by state. i have said that at that time. the federal government taking over health care for the entire
nation and it was king aside the 10th amendment that gives states the rights for these kind of things is not the course for america to have a stronger, more vibrant economy. >> that is a terrific segue to our next segment -- the role of government. the role of government. give us your approach on this, mr. president. do you believe that the -- is there a fundamental difference between the two of you on how you viewed the mission of the federal government? >> i definitely think there are differences. the first role is to keep the american people safe. that is the most basic function. as commander in chief, that is something that i have worked on and thought about every single
day i have been in the oval office. but i also believe that government has the capacity -- the federal government has the capacity to help open up opportunity entry ladders of opportunity and to create frameworks' where the american people can succeed. the genius of america is the free enterprise and freedom and the fact that people can go out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions. as abraham lincoln understood, there are also some things we do better together. in the middle of the civil war, abraham lincoln said, let's help to finance the transcontinental railroad. let's start the national academy of sciences. let's start land grant colleges. we want to give these gateways of opportunities to all americans. if all americans are getting an opportunity, we will all be better off.
that does not restrict freedom, that enhances it. what i have tried to do as president is to apply the same principles. when it comes to education, what i have said is we have to reform schools that are not working. we do something called race to the top. we have said states -- we will give you more money if you initiate reforms. we have had 46 states who have made a real difference. what i have also said is, let's hire another 100,000 math and science teachers to make sure we maintain a technological lead and people are skilled and able to succeed. hard-pressed states right now cannot do that. we have seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last several years. gov. romney does not think we need more teachers, i do. i think that is the kind of investment or the federal government can help. it can make a difference. as a consequence we will have a
better trained work force, and that will create jobs because companies want to locate in places where there is a skilled workforce. >> i love great schools. massachusetts, our schools are ranked no. one of 50 states. the key to grade schools, is great teachers. i reject the idea i do not believe in great teachers. every state should make that decision on their own. the role of government -- look behind us. the constitution and the declaration of independence. is to promote and protect the principles of those documents first. life and liberty -- we have a responsibility to protect the lives of people. i do not believe in cutting the military. i want to maintain the strength of the military. the line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights -- we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country.
it also says we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. i interpret that as making sure those people who are less fortunate and cannot care for a themselves are cared for by one another. we are a nation that believes we are all children of the same god and we care for those who have difficulties. those who are elderly, those who are disabled, we care for them. we look for discovery and innovation and all these things to pursue the pursuit of happiness for our citizens. we believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams. not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. what we are seeing right now is in my view a trickle-down government approach which has government thinking they can do a better job every people pursuing their dreams. is not working. the proof of that is not everyone is and work here we have gone to 47 million people
in food stamps. 50% of college graduates this year cannot find work. we know the path regarding is not working. it is temper a new path. >> education. >> let's go to some specifics on how each of you review the role of government. does the federal government have a responsibility for education? >> the primary responsibility is at the state and local level. i agree with arne duncan. some ideas he has put forward on race to the top. some of them i agree with and congratulate him on pursuing that. the federal government can get state and local schools. i wanted the kids who are getting federal dollars from title 1 -- disabled kids or lower income kids, i went and to be able to go to the kids at
-- to the school of their choice. i would have them follow the child and let the parent and child decide where to send their student. >> how do you see the federal government's responsibility to improve the quality of education? >> it has a significant role to play. we have worked with republican and democratic governors to initiate major reforms. they are having an impact right now. this is where budgets matter. budgets reflect choices. when gov. romney indicates that he wants to cut taxes and potentially benefit people like me and him, to pay for it we have to initiate significant
cuts in federal support for education, that makes a difference. his running mate congressman ryan put forward a budget that reflects many of the principles gov. romney has talked about. it was not very detailed. this seems to be a trend. what it did do -- if you extrapolate it how much money we are talking about, you are looking at cutting education by 20%. when it comes to community colleges, we are seeing great work done out there all over the country because we have the opportunity to train people for jobs that exist right now. one thing i suspect we probably agree on is getting businesses to work with community colleges. >> do you agree? >> let me finish my point. they are partnering -- they are designing training programs and people who are going through them know there is a job waiting for them if they
complete it. there requires some federal support. let me say one final example. when it comes to making college affordable, whether it is two- year or four-year, one thing i did is we were spending $60 million to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program, even though they were guaranteed. there was no risk for the banks and lenders, but they were taking billions out of the system. why not cut out the middleman? we have been able to provide millions of more students assistance, lower or keep a low interest rates on student loans, this is an example of where our priorities make a difference. i genuinely believe gov. romney cares about education. when he tells a student that you should borrow money from your
parents to go to college, that indicates the degree to which there may not be as much of a focus on the fact that folks like myself, folks like michele, kids who probably attended the university of denver did not have that option. for us to make sure they have the opportunity and can walk through the door, that is vitally important not just to the kids, it is how we will grow the economy over the long term. >> we are running out of time. response to that. >>-- respnd to that. >> i have no plan to cut education funding and grants for people going to college. i am not planning on making changes there. you make a good point. the place you put your money makes it a clear indication on where your heart is. you put $90 million into green jobs. i am all in favor of green energy. that would have hired 2 million
teachers. $90 billion. these businesses may have gone out of business -- a number of them happen to be owned by people who are contributors to your campaigns. the right course for a merit oppose the government -- america's government is not to pick winners and losers, not taking over the health care system that has existed in this country for a long time and has produced the best health records in the world, the right answer is to say how do we make the private sector more efficient? how do we make schools more competitive? i suggest we grade our schools so parents can take their kid to a school that is more successful. i did not want to cut our commitment to education, i want to make it more efficient. i have had that experience.
i do not just talking about it, i have been there. massachusetts schools are ranked no. 1 in the nation. this is because i care about education for all of our kids. >> we barely have in three minutes left. i will not raid the two of you and say your answers have been too long. >> you have done a great job. >> the role of government and governing, we only have three minutes left before we go to the closing statements. i want to ask finally -- remember we have three minutes total time. many of the legislative functions of the federal government are in a state of paralysis as a result of partisan gridlock.
if elected -- if reelected in your case, what will you do about that? >> i had a great experience of being elected in a state where my legislator -- legislature was 87% democrat. that means we had to work together to get things done. we cut taxes -- we drove our schools to be number one in the nation. we cut taxes 19 times. >> what will you do as president? >> i will sit down on day one -- actually the day i get elected -- i will continue as we did in my state. we met every monday and talked about the challenges in our state in that case. we have to work on a collaborative basis, not because we will compromise our principles, but because there is common ground. the reason i am in this race is because there are people hurting. we face this deficit that could crush future generations.
there are developments a round the world that are of real concern. republicans and democrats both loved america, but we need to have leadership in washington that will bring people together and get the job done and could not care less if it is a republican or democrat. i have done it before, and i will do it again. >> i think gov. romney will have a busy first day because he is going to repeal obamacare which will not be popular amongg down with them. my philosophy has been, i will take ideas from anybody as long as they are advancing the cause of making middle-class families stronger and giving ladders of opportunity. that is how we cut off -- that is how we cut taxes for the middle-class. that is how we cut spending that was not advancing the cause. that is how we signed a free- trade agreements into law. that is how we repealed don't ask don't tell.l
that is how we ended the war in iraq, and that is how we will wind down the war in afghanistan. we have seen progress even under republican control of the house of representatives. part of being principled and part of being a leader is being able to describe exactly what it is you intend to do, not just saying "i'll sit down." occasionally you have to say no to people both in your own party and in the other party. yes, have we had some fights between me and the republicans when they fought against us reining in the excess against wall street? absolutely. that was a fight that needed to be had. about whether americans had more security with their health insurance, that was a fight we needed to have.
part of leadership and governing is both saying what it is you are for and also being able to say no to some things. when it comes to his own party in the course of this campaign, he has not displayed the willingness to say no to some of the more extreme parts of his party. >> that brings us to closing statements. gov. romney, you elected to go last. you have two minutes, mr. president. >> i want to thank you, and i want to thank gov. romney because this was a terrific debate. i want to thank the university of denver. four years ago we were going through a major crisis. yet, my faith in the american future is undiminished. the reason is because of its people. because of a woman i met in north carolina who decided at
55 to go back to school because she wanted to inspire her daughter and now she has a new job. because of a company in minnesota willing to give up salaries and perks for the executives to make sure they did not lay off workers during a recession. the auto workers that you need in toledo or detroit take such pride in building the best cars in the world not just because of a paycheck, but because it gives them a sense of pride that they are helping to build america. the question now is how do we build on the strengths? everything i have tried to do everything i am proposing for the next four years as far as improving education or developing american energy or making sure we are closing loopholes for companies shipping jobs overseas and focusing on small businesses create jobs in the united states, or closing deficit in a responsible way for a lot of us to invest in the future, all of those things are designed to make sure that the american people, their genius, their determination is channeled and they have an opportunity to
succeed. everybody is getting a fair shot. everybody is playing by the same rules. four years ago i said i am not a perfect man and i will not be a perfect president. that is probably a promise gov. romney things i kept. i promised i would fight every single day on behalf of the american people. i have kept that promise. if you vote for me, i promise i will fight just as hard in the second term. >> thank you. thank you, mr. president. thank you for tuning in. this is an important election, and i am concerned about america. i am concerned about the direction of america has been taking. i know this is bigger than any election about the two of us as individuals.
is bigger than our respective parties. it is about what kind of america do you want to have for yourself and your children. there are two different paths we are speaking about this evening and over the course of the next month we will have two other debates. we will talk about the two paths. they lead in different directions. it is not just looking at our words, you can look at the record. there is no question if the president were to be reelected, he would continue to see a middle-class squeeze it. we have had 43 straight months with unemployment over 8%. i will help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. if the president is reelected, obamacare will be fully installed. in my view that will make a whole different way of life for people who counted on the insurance plan the had in the past. he was the health premiums go up by $2,500 per family.
-- you will see health premiums go up by $2,500 per family. we want each state to craft their own programs and we will focus on getting the cost of health care down. if the president is reelected, you will see a $716 billion cut to medicare. you will have hospitals and providers no longer accepting medicare patience. i will restore the $716 billion to medicare. the president is reelected, you will see dramatic cuts to the military. i will not cut our commitment to our military. i will keep america strong, and did the middle class working again. thank you. >> thank you governor and mr. president. the next debate will be the vice-presidential even to in ky. for now from the university of denver, thank you and good
that we are limiting their future because we are spending it today. we have to stop spending money we don't have. we must cut spending. we must get this balanced budget. we must get this under control. >> abc news martha raddatz will moderate. you can see the live debate preview starting at 7:00 p.m. followed by the debate at 9:00 p.m. and then followed by your calls and tweets add 10:30 p.m. >> last monday, usa today newspaper featured a front-page article on ross perot. on september 28, c-span traveled
texas perot's plano, office to record this interview. he talks about the current state of our economy and country and have the issues he ran on in 1992 and 1996 are still relevant today. with mr. perot and mr. wolf for the hour-long discussion is former u.s. comptroller general david walker appeared he is working with mr. perot on initiatives to educate voters on economic issues in this upcoming election. 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of his presidential run in which you won almost 19% of the vote as an independent candidate. >> we're here with ross perot sr., one of the first interviews he has given in a while. >> ross perot, i want to know how long has it been since you
have been in the public 5. -- the public's>> i have been in the public -- in the public' eye? >> have been in the public five about the national debt and the country and not cause problems -- in the public eye about the national debt and the country's problems. >> has it been too long since somebody like you commanded public attention so you could get the public to understand these sorts of issues? >> i am not in a good position to say that, but we need to clearly describe what has happened and what we need to do to get this under control, and right now everybody is dancing around eight as opposed to facing it. if you have cancer, the first thing you want to do is they said. did the first thing you want to do is face it, right? we have economic cancer at this point -- is faced it. we have economic cancer. >> that was the case when you were in your first presidential
campaign, and it was still the case when you ran your second. there was progress after that, and a lot of people say because of the campaigns you ran, and we run surpluses for a few years. we fought our way out of this. now it is worse than it was 20 years ago. what do you think went wrong? how did we lose our way compared to the late 90's when we fought our way out of these deficits and the last 12 years when we have gone from 4 trillion dollars in debt to 16 trillion dollars today? >> i am glad you mentioned that number. it is going to cause a huge problem. if you have cancer you do not wait until it is over your whole body.
get all of these things, really explain the problem, and hopefully we will get people to deal intelligently with the problem. your wife he ran on fiscal responsibility in washington, declining trust in government, in addition to nafta. the truth is we are much worse on all of those issues today than we were in 1992. if you look back at 1992, in part because of the world ross
perot did, they did several things. impose budget controls and taxes when they thought they were responsible. they did t right thing for the country. president bush 43 -- his term is over. whoever the next president is needs to change course, because if we do not, the problems of europe could have here. >> we are going to talk about some of these issues of 9-11 and the war and the health -- in the tax cuts of 1998, but let me take you back to 1992.
what caused you to leave a public -- of private life, one of them you have passed on, what caused you to jump into presidential politics? parks i believe every -- >> i believe every generation has worked and sacrificed to leave a better country who their children and grandchildren and future generations. we are spending their money, and we are leaving a message that will be difficult to deal west -- a mess that will be difficult to deal with. if we are that we, just think of here and takecome a sober.
the last thing i want to see is our country taken over because we are so financially weak. we are moving in that direction. >> you are thinking of countries buying our debt. >> we fought all over the world in world war ii and won. how long have we been in afghanistan? >> 11 years. good >> that is what i thought, and it is just getting worse we have got to wake up and get the right thing done for our country and our future and make sure we leave a stronger country for future generations. >> to you believe in your first campaign but what you did, although you ended up coming in third -- to you believe you had an impact in solving our deficits and debt picture,
because things improve vastly from 1993 until 20002000. -- from 1993 through about 2000. goodthings improved vastly from 1993 through 2000. >> i do not want to take credit for it, but i am pleased there is a breathing period where we are going in the right direction. now we have heard it around and it is going through the roof and is inexcusable. what is interesting is that hardly ever gets discussed, and in the papers, on the media, you would think this is front- page news. it is not. >> absolutely no question that his candidacy caused president clinton to make fiscal responsibility and much higher priority. no question. clinton will tell you that. people in his administration will tell you that.
he made the difference even though he did not win. the polls will also tell you in july he was leading. in addition, the exit polls will tell you that the people who voted, if they thought they could have won, they would have voted for him and he would have won. much worse today than we were then, and people know it. worseyou think we're much today because he was not elected? >> we have lost our way. >> that is history. what we have to do now is look at where we are today. we're on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. otherwise we are leaving a disaster to our children and grandchildren and we could even lose our country. if we do not get fixed -- and nobody is talking about what we have to do and why we have to do it. they would prefer not to have it discussed. >> what is happening is we're
still coming out of recession, so both candidates, and as president for four years, are using the necessity to dig out from recession before they get to austerity. you could argue that in europe they have tried austerity before the ink out of recession, and that did not do so much good in europe. >> if i told you i do not want to dig out a bite that problem until i go broke, you could say, what are you talking about? that is what you said. debte not on to pay your if he did not have the money. if things are going downhill and you are running toward that up, you'd make it next to impossible to paint your debt. we need to put on the brakes now. it can be done if we and the house and senate and white house have the will.
they should have the full support of the american people to get it done. >> you cannot dig out of a whole, and that is what they are doing. you have to climb out of a whole. in reality we face two problems. we have short-term economic challenges because we have very weak economic growth. we have high unemployment, higher underemployment, and the numbers are higher than the government tells you. we need to do something about it. it has to be coupled with a clear, credible, concrete, and enforceable plan to deal with the structural deficit lying ahead. you need to do both. that is the only thing that makes any sense. it is the only thing that makes sense from the standpoint of politics. >> you spoke in 1992 about the campaign, your plan sounded then a lot like some of these bowls simpson's balanced-type
plants that are coming out now. you did some of everything. you did not leave out sacred cows. the one that higher taxes, higher gasoline taxes, you wanted the wealthy to pay more weather in higher taxes or not taking entitlements. do you find that willingness to day on the part of candidates to hit all the sacred cows? >> i do not see anybody doing it, do you? if somebody is doing it, i am missing it. i thought they would hope this go away and they could run on all these things when you are talking on the television. >> would it take candidate saying you'd need to do all
those things, not just going after entitlements cut domestic spending, defense, but also to raise taxes? you need to do all those things, do you feel? >> we need to do whatever it takes to solve this problem, and that probably takes all of these things. overall, you have to deal with this whole problem, and is once you have cancer, just living in denial, which is the best way to describe how we are living now, it gets worse, and that is happening every day. if you look at these charts that we have distributed over the country, and people going from city to city, talking directly, and i can hear in my home town they will be talking in the next few days, directly to the people, and we need to get the american people alive and alert, because the typical
person running for office is gone to do what ever it takes to get their vote. i do not think he has any sense at all that they want this fixed. if we have that at the grass- roots level, he would have these people with different personalities, being reborn, and they would be out on the campaign trail. >> both parties are responsible for our current problems. >> yes. >> governments have lost control of budget, and has waited too long to restructure, but it is not too late. the american people are smarter than most politicians realize. they know we are in trouble. they're willing to accept tough choices as long as they want it to be part of a comprehensive plan that they deemed to be fair. overwhelming support for comprehensive reforms in a range of areas where everything
is on the table, minimum support, 76%, up to 100%, based on six key principles that it virtually unanimous support. the president is the chief executive officer of the united states. whoever the next president is, they need to demonstrate extraordinary presidential leadership. they need to use the power of the presidency to go to the american people, as ross perot did in 1992, to build a case that we are on a burning platform, to help them understand that everything has to be on the table, to provide principles and a framework for action, and to call the first three words of the constitution "we the people" to work with the president to solve the problem, because if you do not keep the economy strong, everything will suffer over time -- job opportunities, domestic trquility.
>> did you feel in 1992 and 1996, that we can get out of our deficits, and we ran four years of surpluses, prior to 9/11 and other things that happened in the last decade. did you think we had solved our problems? >> no, we were just lucky where weaver going through a good time. now we are any time of bad luck. i would really impressed if our president would take this issue right now and explain to the american people what he is going to do, because obviously his opponents would have to get
busy, too, right? right now is like one of these things. you do not want to talk about it. >> one of the things i remember about my testimony is when i was comptroller general, was in 2001, when we had a surplus, it was burning a hole in congress' pocket, and they had 16,000 ways to spend the money, either directly or through tax rebates, and i reminded them that the surpluses that were projected by the congressional budget office was just that. they were projections. they may or may not occur. we had $20 trillion worth of liabilities and unfunded obligations that were not been accounted for. we had known demographic trends that were going to bring us back to that in the future. today that $20 trillion is $70 trillion and growing by $10 million a minute.
thinks happened totally out of control, especially since 2003. >> let's talk about a couple solutions out there. what has gotten worse of the last 20 years is this issue of tax expenditures, tax breaks, for your more courage, for your -- for your mortgage, for your employer-paid health insurance. i think that the bowles-6 in commission said it was a $1 trillion problem. give us ideas as to what is doable there, because the big tax breaks are those that millions of americans rely on. can those be reduced substantially? >> i do not know. i am not smart enough to know. if i were, i would tell you. >> i mean politically. if you were in office today --
>> would you say don't charge as much as you are charging today? >> we are taking this issue head on, and what we are saying is broaden the tax base so eliminate deductions, exclusions, credits come on the individual and corporate sides, lower the top marginal rate, and i will give you four examples of preferences that would be eliminated or change. one, phase out the individual income tax exclusion for health care. it ought to be taxed as compensation. we need to phase it out. secondly, charitable contributions. full deduction for charitable contributions because
government has grown too big, waited too long to restructure. the charitable sector will become more important. mortgage interest deduction, two houses or one, one house is a need. one home, deduct maximal interest. thirdly, have some type of reasonable limits for retirement savings, but have tougher controls that locked up the money for that, disability, and retirement. those get overwhelming support. by the boy, if you can end up reducing the top marginal tax rate, down to 25%, you can eliminate the difference between capital gains and ordinary income without having adverse effects on the economy. that will increase the effective tax rate of people who are well off at the same point in time making it a simpler
system. right now we have 46.4% of americans who do not pay any income tax at all. the poverty rate is 15.9%. i do not know what the right number is for people who should not have to pay income tax, but the income taxes from all the constitutional roles of the federal government -- you cannot have 46% getting a free ride, and the people understand that and support that change as well. let's debate what that number is. it is lower than 46%, but we need to have a progressive system. >> one of the things that has changed since 1992 is baby boomers were moving toward their retirement. now they are into it. we have the baby-boom generation, when birthrates are at their high estimates are in their mid 60's, started taking social security a few years ago at 62. now they are starting to take medicare.
what does that mean to you in general, that we will go through 20 or 30 years of those people moving through the years of their lives when they are entitled to social security, medicare, and other things? what does that mean in terms of your grandchildren's generation? >> we need to start correcting all of that now and not let it continue. it may occur for a while the matter but i do, but the sooner we start correcting it, the sooner we get that out of the way. we do not do anything. the point is we are in denial. we need to get out of denial and focus on what we need to do and do it and keep the american people fully informed every step of the way so they know why we did this and what we did that and so on and so forth. but them feel they know they are directly involved, because we're trying to get their money.
>> it is a matter of public education, and that is where groups like dave's and other organizations that are trying to beat the drums to get americans to understand what is going on, is that what you feel is most important, educational? >> the first thing, in our country, if i had three wishes -- a strong, moral, ethical base. i had that growing up in the depression. a strong family unit in every home. now the divorce rate is over 50%, right? that is destabilizing. when i grew up in the depression of all times, we had the finest public schools in the world and the one thing a democracy must have is a well- educated population. our public schools are at the bottom of the industrialized world. that is the country.
the great state of texas, where i went to schools and had an incredible education, is either 47 or 40 night in the 50 states. that is all our responsibility and we can correct that, but with these problems we face now, that is so fundamental about what we must do now, and we cannot pass that off to a house or senate or the state or the federal government. we have to do a lot of that by being involved. >> if you look at our fiscal issues, and if you look at the dimensions of it, it is not just economic. we are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates, while we are reducing investment in their future at the time that they are going to face and a lot tougher competition in an increasingly interdependent world. that is irresponsible, and ethical, immoral, and it must --
unethical, immoral and it must stop. at the same point in time, how you solve this problem involves important economic, ethical, and moral questions as well. we have to recognize that reality. the clock is ticking. the fuse has been lit. time is not working in our favor, and we better start making progress, and we better get a good fiscal bargained in 2013 or what that is happening in europe can happen here. >> let me give you an example. go to our most elite engineering schools. at one time we had more talented engineers than anybody else. we were discovering everything in the world, producing it here. now that has all turned around. it is getting worse by the day. 78% of the people getting ph.d.'s from elite engineering schools either come from china or india, ok? or india, ok?